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Terrorism: Avoidance and Survival.

In the introduction to Terrorism: avoidance and Survival, Chester Quarles says that US hostage taking and negotiation has been widely covered and he wants to provide "guidelines for negotiation operations in foreign countries."

He states that he intends to deal with terrorism avoidance and prevention programs, emphasizing how plans, policies, and implementation programs can influence a terrorist-related crisis. His target readership is the security executive, the security trainer, the international entrepreneur, and both the frequent and occasional traveler. The book fulfills the promise far better in some parts than in others.

Quarles's message, which is an elaboration on how to be prepared, is well argued and, in places, informative and insightful. There are exceptional passages in the book that demonstrate the author's experience as a skilled negotiator and a seasoned crisis management planner.

Chapter nine, which covers hostage negotiation, is an example. The introduction to the chapter sets a good backdrop for what happens when an organization fails to plan and have a policy to face a crisis.

The sequence of headings shows the logical series of issues faced in a terrorist hostage crisis: Negotiation Policy, The Negotiator, Pick a Trained and Experienced Negotiator, Should a Local Business Representative Negotiate?, Truth Telling, When Negotiations Begin, and Safe Release.

Another strong part of the book is demonstrated in chapter 11, "Begin Planning Now." While the introduction to this chapter does retrace earlier steps, it makes a good case for forethought to problems, planning, and an organized policy to confront crisis. The reader is taken through the steps establishing a crisis management plan, told the pitfalls to avoid, and given apt quotations and references.

At the same time, there are glaring deficiencies and questionable advice in this book. There is only one passing mention of kidnap and ransom insurance and no mention of health insurance for travelers or Americans living abroad. Thus, the resources that insurers may have at their disposal to aid a corporation facing a terrorist hostage incident are totally ignored. Also, no references are provided to the reader to find such information.

Time after time the discussion , even where the analysis is solid, begs for an example from Quarles's experience.

The reader is given several examples in chapter eight of captivity survival, but specifics from these or other cases are not used in sections on preventive planning or negotiation.

One place where the author does use a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate the importance of having a hostage's power of attorney to act on his or her behalf illustrates how much better other points would be if they had examples.

Good editing could eliminate many of the book's problems, including unnecessary repetition, misspellings, and stylistic problems that interfere with some good, solid analysis.

Reviewer: Peter Savage is a crisis management planner with the Parvus Co. in Silver Spring, MD. He is the author of The Safe Travel Book: A Guide for the International Traveler, and a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Savage, Peter
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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